The Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) at Longwood University hosted Virginia Competes: Envisioning the future of STEM in K-12 Environment – STEM Learning for ALL Students on January 29 – 30, 2009 on the Longwood University campus. This is the second annual STEM summit sponsored by Longwood ITTIP. The two-day event was held for mathematics, science, career and technical education teachers, as well as administrators.
Participants heard from renowned speakers including Dr. Katharina Boser from Individual Differences, Dr. Kathleen McClaskey of EdTech Association, Dr. Gianluca De Leo from Old Dominion University, Kent Robertson with the Shodor Foundation, Michael Behrmann from George mason University, Becky Jaramillo with the National Institute of Aerospace, Bonnie Bracey with the George Lucas Foundation, and author/illustrator, Jean Gralley. Topics for the Summit included: “What Does It Mean by STEM Learning for All,” “Overview and Special Needs Projects by NASA,” “PIXTalk: Technology Assisted Information and Communication Exchange for Children with Severe Autism,” “Online Math and Science Activities,” and “NASA Resources for the Millennium Learner.”
Thursday evening, summit participants and local middle school students participating in the Digispired: Exploring Game Design program heard author and illustrator Jean Gralley discuss the concept of digital books. Following her talk, which included viewing and reading several of Mrs. Gralley’s digital books, everyone was invited to a signing of her book, Very Boring Alligator.
Friday morning’s keynote speaker was Dr. Linda Wallinger, Assistant Superintendent for Instructions from the Virginia Department of Education. Dr. Wallinger discussed the changes in the U.S. educational system and how the United States compares to other countries around the world. Also, she addressed the need to prepare all students for the highly technical 21st century.
Dr. Mano Talaiver, Dr. Linda Townsend, Rebecca Bowen, and Bill Wilson will continue the dialogue with the participants using the Moodle content management system.